Highest paying jobs in Charlotte for high school graduates

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July 2, 2021
Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

Highest paying jobs in Charlotte for high school graduates

The average college graduate in 2019 earned $78,000 a year, while the average high school graduate takes home just $45,000, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. To put it in perspective, the average annual wage for workers in the U.S. that same year was $51,916.27.

Of course, college isn’t for everyone. There are many reasons high-school graduates may choose to not continue on to college, not the least of which being cost. Average tuition costs continue to rise each year, the exception being the 2020-2021 school year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Average tuition at a public, in-state university coming in at $9,687; tuition for out-of-state students at public schools, and for everyone at private universities, is significantly higher at $21,874 and $35,087, respectively.

Just because you decide higher education isn’t in the cards doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to a lifetime of low-paying jobs. You just need to be strategic about the career you choose. Stacker compiled a list of the highest paying jobs for high school graduates in Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2020 annual mean wage.

Keep reading to see which jobs in your city pay the most for high school graduates.

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Oil and Gas Photographer // Shutterstock

#50. Control and valve installers and repairers, except mechanical door

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $52,210 (#121 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 850

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,400
- Employment: 50,660
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($95,240)
--- Madison, WI ($90,020)
--- Salinas, CA ($87,650)
- Job description: Install, repair, and maintain mechanical regulating and controlling devices, such as electric meters, gas regulators, thermostats, safety and flow valves, and other mechanical governors.
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welcomia // Shutterstock

#49. Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $52,240 (#191 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,190

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,000
- Employment: 147,680
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($84,460)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($81,920)
--- Bismarck, ND ($78,350)
- Job description: Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul mobile mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic equipment, such as cranes, bulldozers, graders, and conveyors, used in construction, logging, and mining.
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Loveischiangrai // Shutterstock

#48. First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $52,850 (#121 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,180

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,040
- Employment: 103,730
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Anchorage, AK ($85,110)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($77,260)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($76,940)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in landscaping or groundskeeping activities. Work may involve reviewing contracts to ascertain service, machine, and workforce requirements; answering inquiries from potential customers regarding methods, material, and price ranges; and preparing estimates according to labor, material, and machine costs.
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Pxhere

#47. Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $52,900 (#9 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $46,000
- Employment: 15,290
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Charleston-North Charleston, SC ($70,600)
--- Rockford, IL ($63,210)
--- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($60,080)
- Job description: Operate or tend furnaces, such as gas, oil, coal, electric-arc or electric induction, open-hearth, or oxygen furnaces, to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel.
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VGstockstudio // Shutterstock

#46. Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $53,240 (#5 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,000

National
- Annual mean salary: $45,710
- Employment: 110,020
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($57,110)
--- Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR ($56,620)
--- Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY ($54,400)
- Job description: Make and confirm reservations for transportation or lodging, or sell transportation tickets. May check baggage and direct passengers to designated concourse, pier, or track; deliver tickets and contact individuals and groups to inform them of package tours; or provide tourists with travel or transportation information.

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Erin Deleon // Shutterstock

#45. Postal service mail carriers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $53,670 (#71 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,670

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,180
- Employment: 333,570
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bismarck, ND ($56,520)
--- Burlington, NC ($55,750)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($55,680)
- Job description: Sort and deliver mail for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Deliver mail on established route by vehicle or on foot. Includes postal service mail carriers employed by USPS contractors.
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Wipas Rojjanakard // Shutterstock

#44. Occupational health and safety technicians

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $54,250 (#63 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,870
- Employment: 20,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($80,790)
--- Knoxville, TN ($77,510)
--- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($76,950)
- Job description: Collect data on work environments for analysis by occupational health and safety specialists. Implement and conduct evaluation of programs designed to limit chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic risks to workers.
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rlat // Shutterstock

#43. Postal service clerks

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $54,310 (#41 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 420

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,200
- Employment: 86,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Monroe, MI ($58,120)
--- El Centro, CA ($58,000)
--- Houma-Thibodaux, LA ($57,330)
- Job description: Perform any combination of tasks in a United States Postal Service (USPS) post office, such as receive letters and parcels; sell postage and revenue stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes; fill out and sell money orders; place mail in pigeon holes of mail rack or in bags; and examine mail for correct postage. Includes postal service clerks employed by USPS contractors.
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DenisProduction.com // Shutterstock

#42. Chefs and head cooks

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $54,640 (#118 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 730

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,740
- Employment: 101,490
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($98,210)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($90,840)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($86,460)
- Job description: Direct and may participate in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.
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Canva

#41. Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $54,790 (#15 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,250
- Employment: 15,380
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($79,090)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($70,180)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($66,910)
- Job description: Repair, maintain, or install electric motors, wiring, or switches.

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SritanaN // Shutterstock

#40. Industrial machinery mechanics

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $55,300 (#192 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 3,870

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,350
- Employment: 385,980
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI ($84,180)
--- San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA ($84,150)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($77,580)
- Job description: Repair, install, adjust, or maintain industrial production and processing machinery or refinery and pipeline distribution systems. May also install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to plans.
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Zephyris // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $55,770 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $43,100
- Employment: 23,710
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($69,980)
--- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC ($55,770)
--- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($55,150)
- Job description: Set up, operate, or tend lathe and turning machines to turn, bore, thread, form, or face metal or plastic materials, such as wire, rod, or bar stock.
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goodluz // Shutterstock

#38. Real estate sales agents

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $55,780 (#102 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,710

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,990
- Employment: 168,740
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Salinas, CA ($106,280)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($101,300)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($98,580)
- Job description: Rent, buy, or sell property for clients. Perform duties such as study property listings, interview prospective clients, accompany clients to property site, discuss conditions of sale, and draw up real estate contracts. Includes agents who represent buyer.
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Kot500 // Shutterstock

#37. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $56,240 (#56 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,480

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,090
- Employment: 253,010
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($75,320)
--- New Bedford, MA ($75,110)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($72,460)
- Job description: Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engines. Includes mechanics working primarily with automobile or marine diesel engines.
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Peter Braakmann // Shutterstock

#36. First-line supervisors of farming, fishing, and forestry workers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $56,310 (#35 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,420
- Employment: 22,640
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Oklahoma City, OK ($76,240)
--- Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI ($75,500)
--- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL ($75,140)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of agricultural, forestry, aquacultural, and related workers.

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LStockStudio // Shutterstock

#35. Brokerage clerks

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $56,820 (#37 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,120

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,460
- Employment: 44,720
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($75,240)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($73,770)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($69,860)
- Job description: Perform duties related to the purchase, sale, or holding of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases or sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, distributing dividends, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.
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Canva

#34. Construction and building inspectors

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $57,060 (#184 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,780

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,470
- Employment: 113,770
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($103,820)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($102,920)
--- Salinas, CA ($98,360)
- Job description: Inspect structures using engineering skills to determine structural soundness and compliance with specifications, building codes, and other regulations. Inspections may be general in nature or may be limited to a specific area, such as electrical systems or plumbing.
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kittirat roekburi // Shutterstock

#33. Stationary engineers and boiler operators

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $58,570 (#72 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $68,170
- Employment: 29,550
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($106,910)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($104,970)
--- Springfield, IL ($102,660)
- Job description: Operate or maintain stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment to provide utilities for buildings or industrial processes. Operate equipment such as steam engines, generators, motors, turbines, and steam boilers.
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Stoyan Yotov

#32. Coil winders, tapers, and finishers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $58,910 (#1 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $40,280
- Employment: 12,580
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC ($58,910)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($52,850)
--- Pittsburgh, PA ($47,960)
- Job description: Wind wire coils used in electrical components, such as resistors and transformers, and in electrical equipment and instruments, such as field cores, bobbins, armature cores, electrical motors, generators, and control equipment.
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Oil and Gas Photographer // Shutterstock

#31. Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $59,330 (#51 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $77,610
- Employment: 40,480
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($96,510)
--- Billings, MT ($95,130)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($92,800)
- Job description: Operate or control petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.

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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

#30. First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $59,780 (#123 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 12,810

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,010
- Employment: 1,427,260
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($78,770)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($77,030)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($75,820)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of clerical and administrative support workers.
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Paolo Bona // Shutterstock

#29. Food service managers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $60,250 (#147 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,000
- Employment: 197,010
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($97,610)
--- Trenton, NJ ($95,640)
--- Waterbury, CT ($88,100)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.
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Max Pixel

#28. Pourers and casters, metal

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $61,950 (#1 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $42,440
- Employment: 7,200
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC ($61,950)
--- St. Louis, MO-IL ($52,120)
--- Charleston-North Charleston, SC ($51,310)
- Job description: Operate hand-controlled mechanisms to pour and regulate the flow of molten metal into molds to produce castings or ingots.
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Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#27. Private detectives and investigators

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $62,730 (#25 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $60,100
- Employment: 32,200
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($88,550)
--- Fresno, CA ($79,220)
--- Anchorage, AK ($77,960)
- Job description: Gather, analyze, compile, and report information regarding individuals or organizations to clients, or detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment.
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4 PM production // Shutterstock

#26. Flight attendants

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $63,110 (#5 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 3,910

National
- Annual mean salary: $59,150
- Employment: 116,260
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Austin-Round Rock, TX ($72,460)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($64,930)
--- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL ($63,830)
- Job description: Monitor safety of the aircraft cabin. Provide services to airline passengers, explain safety information, serve food and beverages, and respond to emergency incidents.

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Canva

#25. Automotive body and related repairers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $63,310 (#13 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,690

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,430
- Employment: 137,120
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($81,730)
--- Midland, TX ($76,760)
--- Raleigh, NC ($75,460)
- Job description: Repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.
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Oleg Golovnev // Shutterstock

#24. First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $63,610 (#228 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 5,210

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,800
- Employment: 599,900
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Baton Rouge, LA ($101,930)
--- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($100,590)
--- Longview, WA ($99,590)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of production and operating workers, such as inspectors, precision workers, machine setters and operators, assemblers, fabricators, and plant and system operators. Excludes team or work leaders.
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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#23. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $63,790 (#64 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 3,650

National
- Annual mean salary: $65,230
- Employment: 503,390
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($92,040)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($89,100)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($86,180)
- Job description: Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, and handling information requests, as well as performing routine administrative functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.
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Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

#22. Sales representatives of services, except advertising, insurance, financial services, and travel

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $64,450 (#129 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 12,520

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,490
- Employment: 977,070
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($115,620)
--- Lawrence, KS ($97,910)
--- Boulder, CO ($94,870)
- Job description: Sell services to individuals or businesses. May describe options or resolve client problems.
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Canva

#21. Boilermakers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $65,310 (#16 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $67,430
- Employment: 14,020
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($103,050)
--- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD ($87,180)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($87,050)
- Job description: Construct, assemble, maintain, and repair stationary steam boilers and boiler house auxiliaries. Align structures or plate sections to assemble boiler frame tanks or vats, following blueprints. Work involves use of hand and power tools, plumb bobs, levels, wedges, dogs, or turnbuckles. Assist in testing assembled vessels. Direct cleaning of boilers and boiler furnaces. Inspect and repair boiler fittings, such as safety valves, regulators, automatic-control mechanisms, water columns, and auxiliary machines.

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sculpies // Shutterstock

#20. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $65,690 (#225 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 9,510

National
- Annual mean salary: $72,990
- Employment: 614,080
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($107,870)
--- Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA ($103,930)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($100,620)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#19. Insurance sales agents

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $66,300 (#128 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 4,790

National
- Annual mean salary: $69,100
- Employment: 409,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($109,540)
--- Birmingham-Hoover, AL ($105,840)
--- Fond du Lac, WI ($105,190)
- Job description: Sell life, property, casualty, health, automotive, or other types of insurance. May refer clients to independent brokers, work as an independent broker, or be employed by an insurance company.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#18. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $69,150 (#132 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 3,030

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,650
- Employment: 287,150
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($97,980)
--- Waterbury, CT ($92,160)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($88,750)
- Job description: Review settled claims to determine that payments and settlements are made in accordance with company practices and procedures. Confer with legal counsel on claims requiring litigation. May also settle insurance claims.
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Luisa Leal Photography // Shutterstock

#17. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $70,820 (#133 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 730

National
- Annual mean salary: $74,410
- Employment: 114,930
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($114,820)
--- Redding, CA ($112,850)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($111,810)
- Job description: Install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. May erect poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers.
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Rebekah Zemansky // Shutterstock

#16. First-line supervisors of correctional officers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $70,990 (#47 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $67,600
- Employment: 53,420
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($115,020)
--- Trenton, NJ ($113,630)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($113,070)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of correctional officers and jailers.

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Canva

#15. Transportation inspectors

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $71,590 (#57 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,320
- Employment: 27,360
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Portland-South Portland, ME ($119,270)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($117,900)
--- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($104,370)
- Job description: Inspect equipment or goods in connection with the safe transport of cargo or people. Includes rail transportation inspectors, such as freight inspectors, rail inspectors, and other inspectors of transportation vehicles not elsewhere classified.
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Prath // Shutterstock

#14. Detectives and criminal investigators

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $72,210 (#187 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 590

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,300
- Employment: 105,980
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($127,380)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($127,090)
--- Anchorage, AK ($126,530)
- Job description: Conduct investigations related to suspected violations of federal, state, or local laws to prevent or solve crimes.
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Leszek Glasner // Shutterstock

#13. Property, real estate, and community association managers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $72,610 (#77 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,890

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,210
- Employment: 219,800
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Charleston-North Charleston, SC ($117,770)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($113,800)
--- Boulder, CO ($107,230)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the selling, buying, leasing, or governance activities of commercial, industrial, or residential real estate properties. Includes managers of homeowner and condominium associations, rented or leased housing units, buildings, or land (including rights-of-way).
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Christian Lagerek // Shutterstock

#12. Gas plant operators

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $73,090 (#14 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,290
- Employment: 14,990
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($98,230)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($97,370)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($92,160)
- Job description: Distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.
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4 PM production // Shutterstock

#11. First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $73,930 (#117 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 4,500

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,100
- Employment: 475,000
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($95,680)
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($93,140)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($92,810)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of mechanics, installers, and repairers. May also advise customers on recommended services. Excludes team or work leaders.

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Jacob L. // Shutterstock

#10. Advertising sales agents

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $74,360 (#16 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,190

National
- Annual mean salary: $68,040
- Employment: 110,040
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($112,850)
--- Winston-Salem, NC ($104,930)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($92,370)
- Job description: Sell or solicit advertising space, time, or media in publications, signage, TV, radio, or Internet establishments or public spaces.
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Canva

#9. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $79,290 (#226 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,060

National
- Annual mean salary: $97,180
- Employment: 122,310
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($200,090)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($182,810)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($182,720)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#8. Lodging managers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $80,700 (#20 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $65,270
- Employment: 31,790
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY ($108,990)
--- Reno, NV ($106,060)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($105,560)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that provides lodging and other accommodations.
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michaeljung // Shutterstock

#7. Power plant operators

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $83,050 (#41 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 210

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,890
- Employment: 32,960
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($114,420)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($107,830)
--- Redding, CA ($106,030)
- Job description: Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.
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Ken Wolter // Shutterstock

#6. Postmasters and mail superintendents

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $85,090 (#21 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $79,660
- Employment: 13,880
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ ($96,130)
--- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL ($95,920)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($92,630)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate operational, administrative, management, and support services of a U.S. post office; or coordinate activities of workers engaged in postal and related work in assigned post office.

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Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

#5. Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $88,910 (#10 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 16,190

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,500
- Employment: 1,278,670
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Danbury, CT ($112,810)
--- Napa, CA ($101,850)
--- Santa Fe, NM ($93,680)
- Job description: Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.
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rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#4. Real estate brokers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $106,290 (#7 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 980

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,630
- Employment: 44,610
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($134,770)
--- Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ ($129,820)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($116,510)
- Job description: Operate real estate office, or work for commercial real estate firm, overseeing real estate transactions. Other duties usually include selling real estate or renting properties and arranging loans.
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g-stockstudio // Shutterstock

#3. First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $106,780 (#14 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 3,790

National
- Annual mean salary: $90,120
- Employment: 240,290
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN ($124,150)
--- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($122,460)
--- Leominster-Gardner, MA ($119,130)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers. May perform duties such as budgeting, accounting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.
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Kelly Ogden // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $110,660 (#49 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 870

National
- Annual mean salary: $105,100
- Employment: 132,210
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($163,580)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($137,680)
--- Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ ($136,410)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate transportation, storage, or distribution activities in accordance with organizational policies and applicable government laws or regulations. Includes logistics managers.
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Skycolors // Shutterstock

#1. Commercial pilots

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Annual mean salary: $133,050 (#11 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 240

National
- Annual mean salary: $110,830
- Employment: 37,120
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sioux City, IA-NE-SD ($153,990)
--- Medford, OR ($152,730)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($152,290)
- Job description: Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires Commercial Pilot certificate. Includes charter pilots with similar certification, and air ambulance and air tour pilots. Excludes regional, national, and international airline pilots.

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